Macklemore @ MGM Music Hall (Boston, MA) on September 21, 2023
Benjamin Haggarty (also known as Macklemore) came back to his “second home” Thursday night, where he played a sold-out MGM Music Hall in Boston, MA. The area is familiar to the rapper, who spent many summers in Grafton, MA, with his Irish-American family members, some of whom were in the audience. After taking a six-year hiatus, Macklemore is back on the road for the “BEN Tour” after dropping the BEN album earlier this year. The “Ben Tour” features songs from several different albums, showcasing every era of Macklemore’s career thus far.
Macklemore started the night strong, quickly going from his new song “CHANT” to “Ten Thousand Hours” and then onto radio hit “Thrift Shop.” His band is huge, with several dancers and instrumentalists scattered across the stage. They each knew the choreography and coordinated steps to every song of the night. I’ve never seen that many people on stage so in sync with their lead. It’s clear Macklemore and his team have spent significant time perfecting this show.
With a high-energy band and a hit like “Thrift Shop” dropping so early in the set, the crowd was ecstatic. During his fourth song, “White Walls,” he took out a water gun and sprayed the whole crowd, getting the audience further hyped for the night ahead. Boston was lucky to have extra hits this show, including “Downtown,” which had not been on his setlist as of late. Following “Downtown” was Macklemore’s 2012 hit “Same Love,” a song about LGBTQ rights. With Boston having such a large LGBTQ population, the song was incredibly well-received, and you could hear the passion in Macklemore’s voice for the cause.
Prior to his encore, Macklemore slipped into a wig and long, sparkly blue cape to sing his parody song, “And We Danced.” It was an absolute blast to see live. I never thought he would resurrect the 2009 single for a show in 2023. He finally came out for his encore in a Boston Celtics t-shirt to perform “Good Old Days” before quickly changing into a custom Red Sox jersey. He then performed Boston’s second lucky treat, “Irish Celebration,” which is omitted from his normal setlist. He ended the night with his smash hit “Can’t Hold Us.”
This one was an absolute blast to see live. I’d been waiting six long years for this show, and it was everything I could have hoped for. Macklemore is a high-energy performer and a talented lyricist. The “Ben Tour” continues through the end of the year, so catch it while you can!